Monday, August 26, 2013

Christmas Time

It's not time to wake up, it's 3 am. Therefore, despite your experience with me, I am not waking up now, but in several hours, when it is quite safe to come out from under the covers. Nevertheless, the blog needs doing, and coffee is looking mighty good right now. I will have to write faster, so as to avoid making some and waking up at 3 am.

December can be difficult to say the least. True, I love Christmas. I love the scent of the candles, the cold feel of the tree; I love hanging the ornaments laden with meaning from years past. And laden with meaning from years past is why December can be difficult. Memories of those gone, and those I no longer am friends with is the hard part...The easy part is throwing a party and celebrating with new friends, and what family is left.

Meanwhile, in the real world, I find I have to address a problem: Max is chasing the new unicorn meat eating cat out of a sense of fun and camaraderie. Georgia, the cat, does not see it that way at all. So I am going to have to start re-introducing them every day. She can't stay in the bathroom forever. I need the washing machine.

Well, the chocolate covered doughnut is making me sleepy. Until later.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I could think of nothing else funny this morning, except the above. Forgive me. It is a grim morning. My moods are capricious sometimes, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes I am faced with truth about my character I would rather face after a few cups of coffee, and some breakfast. Add physical pain to the mix and voila! A needy person emerges...

Instead of looking at 'me, being human,' I would rather think of the unicorn meat eating cats. But part of my mind holds myself hostage and won't let me be human. No mistakes allowed.

This Is Saturday

This is how PTSD and Bipolar work...some loving friends recreated a scene from my life yesterday. I am humbled and grateful that they took the trouble. It was a scene that really took place, and ended up with a friend being estranged. She is a dear friend, and I deeply regret , and did not remember, what I had said to hurt my friend's feelings.

These are the blank spots in my mind, and they are frightening, of short duration, and a result of something I have no control over, which is no excuse.

The recreation of the scene brought up the desired memory. It is 6 a.m and I am stuck with it., and she doesn't read my blog. My heart is full of hurt for my stupidity and my friend's hurt feelings. I try to convince myself that what I said wasn't so bad...but obviously, it was.

I do realize this happens everyday: I not only said something thoughtless, but was judgmental about it. At least that's what my memory tells me.

As New as Mint

I am a writer, with a degree in writing, and still cannot express to you the whole of my past. Nor am I meant to at this time. Life is a series of processes, not a journey with an end. I have said before that it takes decades, sometimes a life time, to write a poem. Because a poem, or a work, are just markers along the way. They are the process, and therefore, Life itself.

I took the dog out last night, and stepped into the light cast by a full moon. The ground was covered by newly fallen snow, and my breath steamed out. Max loves the snow and I love moonlight, and so we lingered as long as we could. There are so many things to see in the moonlight; the trees' shadows rest on one another, and cut across the ground. The shadows are the same color as the color of the mountains on a winter clear day, in this corner of the world. They are called the Blue Ridge, and another lovely name, Shenandoah. It's a liquid sounding word handed down to us by Native Americans, and it rightfully fits such a beautiful march of mountains.

I have been busy thinking about my writing, and where I want to go with it. I have refound my senior portfolio, but no one is published in poetry unless you're Charles Burkowski, a legendary poet of the alcoholic variety, and his ilk. Cane by Jean Toomer, an African American poet of the '20's, is a lovely example of how to sneak your poetry into your writing enough to be published. But I think my best writing is about nature, and my travels.

The Superbowl

Which I totally missed last night, for the pleasure of home made lasagna and chocolate ice cream served up at the smallest and loveliest house I have ever been in. The smallest and loveliest house also has no TV, and so my friends and I kept up with the game by calling someone at a Superbowl party. We listened to Steely Dan and ate...and talked until the windows steamed up. I had the best deal all the way around, I have no doubt.

I lost my internet connection for a week, to the whims of fortune.


is what we have been promised, but I will believe it, my friend, when I see it.

It's almost New Year's, bah humbug. I have never seen the point, but numerous folks have, down through the centuries, and who am I to question the popular vote? Me. I am me. I have just never understood celebrating the advent of a New Year, which will be just like the old year...I told you Bah Humbug.

And so I bake. Many women friends have told me that the start of the Christmas season (right after the Fourth of July celebrations), is when they feel like making tasty morsels. I put it down, practically, to the heat of the oven. A small cold snap, after a global warming summer, is enough to send many women into the kitchen to cook that first vat of pinto beans.

For those of you not located in The South (southern states of the US), the accumulated ceremony of the first vat of pinto beans can be hard to explain. Mama did it, Granny did it, and no doubt, her mother did it too. Cause that's all them Yankees left us to eat when they left The Old South after The Occupation that signaled the physical end of The Civil War. Whew.

In the world of The South, only women know the exact moment it is right to cook the first batch of pinto beans. It is always accompanied by corn bread. I don't know any Southern woman who makes the mistake of premature pinto beans cooking, except for yours truly. I love pinto beans and eat them year round.

Anyway, the right moment...there is a cold snap, but it's still not time. It will get hot as blazes after the first 20 cold snaps. So there is an artistry, not only in the making of the pinto beans, but in the timing. If one makes them too early, they will go to waste, and then you'll be mentioned in the same breath as That Woman down the street who pulls her shades at noon and smells like mouthwash when she goes to the grocery store.

No, the 'cold' must have settled in good before the first batch can be made. But once that perfect moment makes it's advent, there is a rush for the finish. Southern women will make huge vats of the stuff, to give to their friends, after all, we are all in this together, only to find out their friends have also made the obligatory vat themselves and don't need any of your beans. Although cornbread. No one will turn down cornbread. But this fact comforts Southern women. They have made the right decision as to timing, and we laugh, comforted by our insight. The world, The South, civilization itself, will go on.

Sometimes, with Very Close Friends, one will exchange a batch, just to see how the other half lives. It is viewed as living on the wild side, and pulling 'Mary's' beans out of the frig to be heated up takes on the taste of riotous adventure. And you have to be careful whom you exchange batches with...what if they use meat in the beans and you don't? No, no. Adventurous as you are, that would never do. My mother never used meat, but salted well, and made the best cornbread this side of Atlanta. One of my best friends uses sidemeat to flavor her beans, and I just can't go there, even for her. My very bestest friend in the whole world uses no meat, just like me, and so her beans are to be trusted. No surprises there. Which is the whole point...

After all, the first vat of pintos is a tradition, a sacred trust, handed down from the ages, from one woman to another. Like the rare stories, growing rarer still, of that dear, departed Uncle, who bought it at Vicksburg. The time is long past when those who knew that Uncle turned to dust, but their recipe for pinto beans lives on...